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Middleton, Roderick

  • ppcli
  • Persona
  • 1929-2007

Roderick Morrison Middleton was born in Calgary, Alberta 23 January 1929. He served in the Calgary Highlanders (militia) from 1948 to 1950 and joined 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry as a Lieutenant, September 1950. He served as a Platoon Commander in Korea and was wounded 7 March 1951 during the assault on Hill 532. He returned to Canada for parachute training September 1951 and served at the Airborne and Offensive Air Support Schools at the Canadian Joint Air Training Centre at Rivers, Manitoba from 1952 to 1958. He was posted to 1st Battalion PPCLI in Victoria and served as second in command of A Company and was Regimental Adjutant, June 1960 to May 1963. He attended Defense Services Staff College in Wellington, India until December 1963. He was appointed General Staff Officer Grade 2, Special Operations, in the Directorate of Military Training at Army Headquarters in Ottawa. He attended United States Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, August 1965. Rejoining 2PPCLI in Edmonton, January 1966, he commanded the last Army Junior NCO School in Wainwright. He proceeded to Germany in May 1966 where he was in command of Headquarters Company and became Battalion Operations Officer of 1PPCLI then 2PPCLI. He was appointed General Staff Officer 2 Tactical Air Operations at the Joint Warfare establishment at Old Sarum, England, July 1967 and was appointed Staff Officer 2 in the Special Warfare Section of the Directorate of Land Operational Readiness in Ottawa in August 1969. He was posted to Calgary as Senior Staff Officer, Southern Alberta Militia District in March 1973. He retired from the Military July 1975. Following his military career Rod was manager of the Officer's Mess at Mewata Armouries, Calgary, Alberta until 1987 and Acting Director, Museum of the Regiments, May 2000-September 2000. He was active in the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Association and served as National President from 1985 to 1989. He was the Chairman of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Heritage Committee from 1999-2001 and still served on that Committee in 2002. Rod was directly involved in the planning and organization of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 75th Anniversary celebrations in Calgary, 1989, and the Regimental History Book Project, 1999-2001. Rod worked as a volunteer at the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regimental Museum and Archives beginning in 1988 and was involved in the planning and design of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regimental Museum Gallery. He completed the first draft of the inventory of the papers of Brig. A. Hamilton Gault in 2004. He married Laurine Strabel of Edmonton in 1952, and they had four children, Geoffrey, Gary, Janice, and David. He died in Calgary on March 28, 2007.

Crossman, Geof

  • ppcli
  • Persona
  • 1957-2020

Geof Crossman joined the First Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry at Calgary, Alberta in March 1975 . He transferred to the Canadian Airborne Regiment in 1977 and was promoted to Corporal in 1979. Promoted to Master Corporal in 1980, he went with the Airborne to Cyprus the same year. In 1982 he was a member of the Skyhawks Parachute Team in Edmonton and was promoted to Sergeant in 1984. From 1985 to 1988 he was a Parachute Instructor and a Free Fall Instructor at the Canadian Airborne Centre. In 1988 he transferred back to the First Battalion and went with the Battalion to Cyprus in 1990. Promoted to Warrant Officer in 1993 he was posted to Land Forces Central Area in Toronto from 1993 to 1995 and went to Croatia in 1993 as Mortar Platoon Warrant Officer attached to the Second Battalion Battle Group. He transferred to the Second Battalion in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1995 and went to Croatia as Mortar Platoon Warrant Officer in 1997. He served with the Second Battalion until 1997 when he was posted to the Regimental Museum in Calgary, Alberta as the Assistant Curator. He retired from the Service in 2001.

Smith, Gordon Appelbe

  • ppcli
  • Persona
  • 1919-2020

Gordon Appelbe Smith, 1919-2020, was born in England and attended grammar school at Harrow before emigrating to Winnipeg, Manitoba and attending the Vancouver School of Fine Art. In 1941 he married Marion Fleming. He enlisted with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles in 1939 and joined the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 21 August 1942 as a Lieutenant. He was a Platoon Commander and then the Intelligence Officer, Headquarters Company, during the Sicily landings in July 1943. He was badly burned during the advance on Leon Forte, Sicily, 20 July 1943 and Struck Off Strength due to his burns. He spent six months in hospitals in North Africa, England and Canada and his wounds left him with a paralyzed leg. Under the Veteran's Program he was able to receive further training at the San Francisco School of Fine Art and Harvard University. He became an art teacher and then professor of fine arts at the University of British Columbia. His works are held in galleries across Canada including the National Gallery, the Canadian War Museum and the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regimental Museum and Archives. He was awarded the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia and honorary doctorates from the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the Emily Carr Institute of Art. He was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. He was still actively working as an artist at the time of his death at the age of 100.

Aherne, Thomas Joseph

  • ppcli
  • Persona
  • 1958-2017

Thomas Joseph Aherne was born in Montreal, Quebec on 22 January 1958 to Michael and Margaret Aherne. He had five siblings: Mary, Breeda, James, Kathleen, and Margaret. His passions in life were learning, teamwork, taking on challenges, and teaching others. His pursuit of those passions led to a 21-year long career in the Canadian Military, where he served in the Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) and the Canadian Airborne Regiment. He earned many achievements, awards, and honours. In 1984, he completed qualifications to become a course instructor. His leadership qualities and mastery of many military skills led to his appointment to the elite units Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) and Joint Task Force 2 (JTF-2). After he retired from the Canadian Armed Forces with the rank of Warrant Officer in 1997, he started his own electrical contracting business based in Calgary, Alberta. He was previously married to Pamela Jill Plummer. He later married Maureen McKee. He died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 59 on 18 October 2017.

Craig, Gordon McSpadden

  • ppcli
  • Persona
  • 1895-1949

Gordon McSpadden Craig, known in his military records as 411167 Gordon Craig, was born on 7 February 1895 in Belfast, Ireland. In 1904 he emigrated with his family to Vancouver, BC. He was apparently a student at McGill University College of British Columbia (later University of British Columbia) when he enlisted in the McGill University Company of the Canadian Army on 27 April 1915. He trained at Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario, and was transferred to Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) in the field on 28 July 1915. He was captured in battle on 2 June 1916 and was held prisoner of war until 6 December 1918. He returned to Vancouver and became an entrepreneur, proprietor of Gordon Craig Radios at 637 Richards Street. In 1920 he married Vera Maude Giberson, and they lived in the upper-middle-class West Kitsilano district. They had three daughters, Patricia Gladys (Whyte), Vera Eileen, and Clodagh. Gordon retired from his business in 1944 and died from heart failure on 5 July, 1949.

Stephens, Conrad

  • ppcli
  • Persona
  • 1891-1971

476040 Conrad Stephens, 1891-1971, known as "Steve" and "Con", was born in Leicester, England. As a young man he emigrated to Canada and established a farm at Phippen, Saskatchewan. He enlisted in the 3rd University Company in Saskatoon on 12 July, 1915. The Company joined Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) in the field on 6 December, 1915. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in November 1916 but reverted to Private at his own request in March 1917. Around this time he joined the PPCLI Comedy Company, a unit which staged variety shows to raise the morale of the troops. On 12 November, 1918 the Comedy Company amalgamated with the 3rd Division Concert Party, better known as the Dumbells. On 8 March, 1919, Stephens was struck off strength by the 3rd Division and returned to farming in western Saskatchewan. He died in North Battleford on 12 July, 1971. He is buried near other members of his family in Rockhaven Cemetery, Cut Knife, Saskatchewan.

Turnbull, T.J.

  • ppcli
  • Persona
  • 1871-1954

Tom James Turnbull was born in July 1871 in Hartlepool, Durham, England. In 1894 he enlisted in the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders. He served in the South African War, and was wounded at the battle of Paardeberg. In 1904, as a Sergeant, he transferred to the Royal Inniskillen Fusiliers, and saw service in Cairo, Egypt. He was promoted to Drum Major and to Regimental Sergeant-Major. In 1920 he emigrated to Canada and was appointed Regimental Sergeant-Major of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) in Winnipeg. He retired in 1934, intending to settle in his childhood home of Tunbridge Wells, England, but instead returned to Winnipeg in 1935. In 1900 he married Mary Norris Hamilton, and they had 7 children, Mary Margaret "Molly", Jeannie Hamilton, Tom James, Alice Hamilton, Dorothy Rowell, Mabel, and Robert. He died in Winnipeg in 1954.

Gault, Leslie Henderson

  • ppcli
  • Persona
  • 1927-2014

Leslie Henderson Gault, 1927-2014, was a first cousin once removed of Andrew Hamilton Gault, the founder of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), although he referred to Hamilton Gault as his uncle. He lived and worked in Montreal and in Calgary as a real estate developer. In 1986 he approached PPCLI with the idea of erecting a statue of Hamilton Gault in Ottawa, a project that was realized in 1992. He contributed to historical research on Hamilton Gault and on the Gault family. He was married twice, to the former Judith McDougall, and to the former Carol Mary Lascelles Carr, and had three sons, Nicholas, Alexander, and Sebastian.

Petrie, Charles A.

  • ppcli
  • Persona
  • 1925-

Born 22 April 1925 in Edmonton Alberta, TM12658 Charles Petrie enrolled in the Canadian Army as a private 7 June 1944. He was selected for Airborne training but was remustered to the General Reinforcement corps in November 1944. After further training in England he qualified as an Infantry Signaller and was transferred to the Calgary Highlanders at Rodenkirchen, Germany in May 1945 as a clerk of Headquarters Battalion in the Occupation Force. By the end of June 1945 Private Petrie was back in England and returned to Canada shortly thereafter. He was released from the Canadian Army 2 October 1945 and returned to the University of Alberta in Edmonton. After graduating with a BSc in 1948 he worked as a calculator on seismic surveys and then as an oilfield chemist. He enrolled as an officer candidate with the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and was commissioned 1 January 1950. He then enlisted with Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 23 October 1950 and was posted to 2nd Battalion at Camp Wainwright, eventually becoming assigned to the 3rd Battalion, C Company, 9 Platoon 30 November 1950. In March 1951 he was transferred back to the 2nd Battalion and was assigned to 5 Platoon on the eve of the Battle of KapYong, 24 April 1951. In June he served as the Quartermaster and then as Platoon Commander 8 Platoon, C Company until the Second Battalion was relieved by the First Battalion in November 1951. He remained in Korea as Admin Logistics Officer until December 1951. Returning to Canada, he served with the 2nd Battalion as Intelligence Officer, Assistant Adjutant and Platoon Commander both in Canada and Germany until December 1956. He then spent 5 years at Headquarters, Saskatchewan Area where he was promoted to Captain and then assigned to Tactical Headquarters in Newfoundland from 1961 to 1963. From 1963 until his release from the military 24 July 1970 Captain Petrie held several staff appointments in Ottawa. Following his military service he returned to university and eventually became a teacher and silversmith. He was living in Victoria, BC in the 1990s and in England in 2014. «

Petrie, Charles A.

  • ppcli
  • Persona
  • 1925-

Born 22 April 1925 in Edmonton Alberta, TM12658 Charles Petrie enrolled in the Canadian Army as a private 7 June 1944. He was selected for Airborne training but was remustered to the General Reinforcement corps in November 1944. After further training in England he qualified as an Infantry Signaller and was transferred to the Calgary Highlanders at Rodenkirchen, Germany in May 1945 as a clerk of Headquarters Battalion in the Occupation Force. By the end of June 1945 Private Petrie was back in England and returned to Canada shortly thereafter. He was released from the Canadian Army 2 October 1945 and returned to the University of Alberta in Edmonton. After graduating with a BSc in 1948 he worked as a calculator on seismic surveys and then as an oilfield chemist. He enrolled as an officer candidate with the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and was commissioned 1 January 1950. He then enlisted with Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 23 October 1950 and was posted to 2nd Battalion at Camp Wainwright, eventually becoming assigned to the 3rd Battalion, C Company, 9 Platoon 30 November 1950. In March 1951 he was transferred back to the 2nd Battalion and was assigned to 5 Platoon on the eve of the Battle of KapYong, 24 April 1951. In June he served as the Quartermaster and then as Platoon Commander 8 Platoon, C Company until the Second Battalion was relieved by the First Battalion in November 1951. He remained in Korea as Admin Logistics Officer until December 1951. Returning to Canada, he served with the 2nd Battalion as Intelligence Officer, Assistant Adjutant and Platoon Commander both in Canada and Germany until December 1956. He then spent 5 years at Headquarters, Saskatchewan Area where he was promoted to Captain and then assigned to Tactical Headquarters in Newfoundland from 1961 to 1963. From 1963 until his release from the military 24 July 1970 Captain Petrie held several staff appointments in Ottawa. Following his military service he returned to university and eventually became a teacher and silversmith. He was living in Victoria, BC in the 1990s and in England in 2014.

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